Grays best Aces to close season
By: Anna Dunlavey
The DC Grays went out with a win. The Grays defeated the home standing Alexandria Aces 5-3 in their final game of the season Saturday night. The win brings their season record to 15-25, and they finished in ninth place in the eleven-team Ripken League.
Max Kaplow (George Washington) pitched his second 7+inning game of the week. Kaplow gave up the three runs on seven hits, and had four strikeouts. Jay Graham (Dartmouth), who started the night at first base, relieved Kaplow in the top of the eighth with no outs. As a pitcher, he gave up no runs or hits. As a batter, he drove in three of the Grays’ five runs. The other two were driven in by Webb Bobo (Southeastern Louisiana) in a game-tying two-run home run. Bobo ends the regular season with the highest batting average in the Ripken League. Bobo’s fellow All-Star team member Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) also hit a milestone last night. In the first inning, Sweeting successfully stole his 24th base of the season.
The Aces scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second, but the Grays immediately answered back. After Sweeting walked and Lucas Martinez (New Mexico State) was hit by a pitch, Bobo singled to load the bases with no outs. Graham then drove in Sweeting with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the fifth, when the Aces scored two runs with two outs in that inning to make the score 3-1.
In the top of the seventh, after a base hit from Max Geller (Santa Fe), Bobo blasted his third home run of the season, and second two-run homer in a week, to tie the game again. The game stayed tied until the top of the ninth, when the Grays struck again. After Geller hit a double, Sweeting drew a walk and Bobo was intentionally walked. The bases were loaded for Graham, who ripped a double down the third base line to give the Grays the 5-3 lead. Graham then pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth for the win, his first of the season.
This game concludes the Grays’ 2014 season. Thank you for following the DC Grays this summer, and we will see you next year.
Comeback win for Grays
By: Anna Dunlavey
The DC Grays came back from a four-run deficit on the road last night to beat the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts 10-8 in their penultimate game of the 2014 season. The Grays’ record has now improved to 14-25 as they head to their final game on Saturday.
The game definitely started in favor of the T-Bolts, who scored three runs in the second inning and one run in the fourth before the Grays could even get on the board. The Grays’ luck began to turn late in the game, in the top of the sixth. Jay Graham (Dartmouth) got the inning started with a single, and Joe Tietjen (UNC-Asheville) immediately followed with a walk. Then, Brandon Chapman (George Washington) blasted a double to score both, cutting the T-Bolts’ four run lead in half.
The Grays took the lead for themselves in the top of the seventh. Lucas Martinez (New Mexico State) walked and Webb Bobo (Southeastern Louisiana) singled to start the inning. Graham then hit the ball back to the pitcher, but an overthrow at second meant that Graham was safe at first and Martinez was able to score. After Tietjen walked to load the bases, Chapman singled, scoring Bobo with the tying run. A sacrifice fly from Eric Urry (Brigham Young) scored Graham to give the Grays a 5-4 lead. During the next at bat, Chapman and Tietjen stole second and third, respectively, and an overthrow by the catcher allowed Tietjen to score the fourth run of the inning.
The Grays continued to increase the lead in the later innings. In the eighth, after Michael Breen (San Jose State) singled and Bobo walked, Graham hit a double to deep centerfield to score them both. Tietjen doubled to score Graham.
Although the Grays had the lead 9-4, the T-Bolts came back to score four runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run game going into the ninth.
The Grays got an insurance run in the 9th. Urry walked, reached second on a wild pitch, and took third on a balk. Aaron Tovsky (Davidson) then drove him in for the Grays’ tenth and final run of the game.
Ari Kaufman (Lafayette) had his first start of the season last night. He pitched 3.2 innings and gave up four runs on eleven hits. Harry Thomas (Delaware) relieved him during the fourth inning, and gave up one hit and no runs in his 3.1 innings of work. Thomas also had six strikeouts, the most he has had in a single game this season, and was credited with the win, which was his first of the season. TJ Maioriano (University of the Sciences-Philadelphia) came out in the top of the eighth, and gave up four runs on three hits. Tovsky, who had been at third base to start the game, finished pitching the eighth, and gave up one hit and no runs. James Lengal (Brigham Young) got his eighth save of the season after he pitched the ninth. He gave up no hits or runs, struck out two, and lowered his ERA to 0.84.
Tonight, the Grays will play their final game of the 2014 season in Alexandria against the Aces. Max Kaplow (George Washington) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.
Grays drop home finale
By: Anna Dunlavey
The DC Grays and the Rockville Express kept last night’s game close the whole way through, but in the end, the Express prevailed. The Grays dropped their final home game of the season 5-4, and their record for the season goes to 13-25.
The Grays took the early lead. In the bottom of the first, leadoff hitter Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) was hit by a pitch and stole second. Desmond Stegall’s (Grambling State) two out double scored Sweeting for a 1-0 Grays lead.
The Express tied the game up in the top of the second, and after scoreless third and fourth innings, the Grays took the lead again in the bottom of the fifth. David Kimbrough (Delaware State) singled, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville) then walked. Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana) singled, scoring Kimbrough. Sanders was called out at the plate to end the inning.
The top of the seventh was when things began to turn sour for the Grays. Jay Graham (Dartmouth) was called in to relive starting pitcher Caleb Evans (Liberty) in the middle of a bases loaded jam with no outs. Three Express runs ended up scoring before the Grays could make it out of the inning, turning the score to 4-2 in favor of the Express.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the Grays tied the score again, thanks to a clutch two-run homer by Bobo.
Graham was in a jam once again in the top of the eighth, when two singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs. After another Express run scored on a bases loaded walk, Harry Thomas (Delaware State) came out to relieve Graham. A fly out to third and a double play at home plate and first base ended the half-inning. Although no more Express runs scored under Thomas’ watch, the Grays were unable to score any runs of their own.
Evans, in his first start of the season, pitched six-plus innings and gave up four runs on three hits. Graham pitched one complete inning, giving up one run on three hits, and was tagged with the loss. Thomas pitched two complete innings, and gave up one run.
Tonight, the Grays will head up to Silver Spring to play the Thunderbolts in their second to last game of the season. Ari Kaufman (Lafayette) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.
Grays back to winning ways
By: Anna Dunlavey
The DC Grays played their next-to-last home game of the season on Wednesday, and fortunately, it ended in a win. The Grays beat the Baltimore Dodgers 4-2, and have now notched at least one win against every team in this year’s Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Their record also improved to 13-24 on the season.
The Dodgers were the first team to score. Starting pitcher Colin Kelly (Catholic) walked the leadoff batter of the second inning, his first walk of the game, and after a passed ball and a single, that batter was brought home. The Grays were sent down in order in the bottom of the inning, and no runs were scored in the third.
The Grays finally fired back in the bottom of the fourth inning, when eight batters came to the plate. The inning’s first three batters, Jay Graham (Dartmouth), Lucas Martinez (New Mexico State) and Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) all singled to load the bases with no outs. Joe Tietjen (UNC-Asheville then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Graham and tying the game. A single from Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville) loaded the bases again. Both Martinez and Stegall scored on a single from Trae Sweeting (Georgia State). At the end of four, the score was 3-1 Grays.
The Dodgers scored their second run of the game in the top of the fifth, reducing the Grays’ lead to one run. In the bottom of the eighth, the Grays struck again. With two outs, Tietjen and Sanders both walked. Then Michael Breen (San Jose State) hit a double to right that just barely stayed fair. It’s a good thing it did—Breen brought Tietjen around to score the insurance run and make the score 4-2, which is where it stayed.
Kelly pitched eight innings, his longest outing of the season, and gave up two runs on six hits. James Lengal (Brigham Young) pitched the ninth and got the save. He gave up one hit, but his ERA decreased to 0.93, one of the lowest in the league.
Thursday will be the Grays final home game at the Nationals Youth Academy this year. They will take on the Rockville Express, and Joe Kinee (West Chester) is the Grays’ expected starting pitcher.
Amway hosts Grays on Capitol Hill
By: Anna Dunlavey
Last night, one of the sponsors of the DC Grays, The Amway Corporation, hosted a reception at the company’s townhouse on Capitol Hill to acknowledge the Grays and the work the team has done to promote baseball in inner-city Washington DC.
The Grays organization has aspired to be “ambassadors for baseball” at their new home stadium, the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, and several Members of Congress attended a Capitol Hill reception in the Grays’ honor.
Many members of Congress attended the reception as well. Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA), Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) were all present at the event. Norton was a major force behind the construction of the Nationals Academy, and last night she was finally able to meet the Grays, the first summer college baseball team to call the facility home.
The Grays have four more games before the end of the season, two at home and two away. The penultimate home game will be played tonight, against the Baltimore Dodgers.
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Grays lose on late walk
By: Anna Dunlavey
Last night’s game between the DC Grays and the Gaithersburg Giants was nip and tick all night, until a bases loaded walk gave the Giants a win in extra innings. The Grays are now 11-24 as the final week of the season begins.
The visiting Grays scored first, with two outs in the top of the first. Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana) doubled to left field, and Jay Graham (Dartmouth) drove Bobo in on a single. The Giants answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning off of Grays’ starting pitcher Andre Wilson (Grambling State).
After a home run and an error allowed two more Giants runs to score in the bottom of the second, it seemed like the Grays might not be able to come back from the three-run deficit. The Grays answered back in the fourth, when a double by Max Geller (Santa Fe) scored both Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) and Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville), both of whom had singled earlier in the inning. Geller then scored on a single from Drew Reid (Harvard).
The Giants got another run in the bottom of the inning to lead 5-4, but their lead did not last long. The team of Bobo and Graham came out in the top of the fifth to tie things up again. After leadoff hitter Bobo tripled, Graham brought him home on a deep sacrifice fly to left. Harry Thomas (Delaware State) inherited a base runner when he relieved Wilson in the bottom of the inning, but immediately got three outs to strand the Giants’ runner.
The Giants scored in the sixth, and the game might have ended with a score of 6-5 if not for a close play in the top of the eighth. Michael Breen (San Jose State) walked, and Reid singled with two outs. Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) then singled to left field, allowing Breen to score and Reid to try for third. The throw beat Reid to the bag, but he avoided the tag long enough for Breen to cross the plate with the tying run.
A scoreless ninth lead to extra innings. Although leadoff batter Sanders walked to start off the tenth, he was stranded there. In the bottom of the inning, Ari Kaufman (Lafayette) had two quick outs, but two singles and a walk loaded the bases. After a number of close pitches, another Giants batter walked, allowing the winning run to score and ending the game.
Wilson, in his first start of the season, pitched four complete innings and gave up five runs on five hits with four strikeouts. Thomas, who also pitched four complete innings, gave up one run on two hits with three strikeouts. Kaufman pitched the final 1.2 innings, and gave up one run on one hit with a strikeout.
The Grays have a day off Tuesday, but return to the Nationals Youth Academy tomorrow to face the Baltimore Dodgers on Wednesday. Colin Kelly (Catholic) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.
Grays upset Big Train
By: Anna Dunlavey
On Sunday night the DC Grays did something that few other teams in the Cal Ripken League have been able to do—they beat the Bethesda Big Train on their home field. The Grays notched a 5-1 victory in their last time facing Bethesda this season. The Grays’ record improved to 11-23 on the season.
Max Kaplow (George Washington) pitched his finest game of the season. He pitched 8.1 innings, struck out six batters, and gave up only one run on five hits to the team with the best record in the league. James Lengal (Brigham Young) came out to close the game after the first out in the bottom of the ninth. He did not give up any runs or hits, and had one strikeout. He notched his seventh save of the season.
The Grays took the lead in the top of the second inning. Jay Graham (Dartmouth) doubled, and Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) blasted a triple to score him. Stegall then scored on a sacrifice fly from Eric Urry (Brigham Young). The Big Train scored one run in the bottom of the inning, but it was all they could manage for the night.
After quick fourth and fifth innings, the Grays logged another run in the top of the sixth. Stegall hit a ball off the Big Train pitcher’s leg, and an overthrow to first allowed him to get all the way to third. Brandon Chapman (George Washington) then drove him home on a single to center field.
In the top of the eighth, Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana) singled to move Joe Tietjen (UNC-Asheville), who had singled previously, to second. Although the Big Train attempted to throw Tietjen out, the ball missed the second baseman and Tietjen was able to get to third. Tietjen then scored on Graham’s sacrifice fly to left field.
The Grays tacked on an insurance run in the ninth. After Michael Breen (San Jose State) and Drew Reid (Harvard) singled, Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) walked to load the bases. Breen then came around to score on a wild pitch.
The Grays hope to extend this win into a streak tonight, when they travel to Gaithersburg to face the Giants. Andre Wilson (Grambling State) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.
Grays fall to Riverdogs
By: Anna Dunlavey
It began to drizzle in Vienna during the fifth inning of last night’s game between the DC Grays and the Vienna River Dogs. The Grays probably wish the rain had come down harder so the game would be called. Instead, the game went to a full nine innings, with the River Dogs beating the Grays 9-5. This loss now puts the Grays’ record at 10-23 on the season.
The game started well enough for the Grays. Although starting pitcher Tyler Shamas (Mitchell) gave up a run on a bases loaded walk in the second inning, he struck out the next three batters. In the top of the third inning, Joe Tietjen (UNC-Asheville) bunted for a single, and Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) doubled to bring Tietjen all the way around to score, tying the game at one.
In the top of the fifth inning, Drew Reid (Harvard) singled and then stole second during Trae Sweeting’s (Georgia State) at bat. Sweeting’s bunt looked like a sacrifice, but because Sweeting is one of the fastest runners in the league, he managed to both beat the throw to first and move Reid to third. Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana) brought Reid home on a sacrifice fly, and Sweeting later scored on a wild pitch.
They Grays had a 3-1 lead, but only for a short time. In the bottom of the fifth, the River Dogs scored three runs on four hits. They followed up in the sixth inning with four runs on five hits to give themselves an 8-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Reid came through again — this time with a double. Max Geller (Santa Fe) came out to run for him at second base. Sweeting was hit by a pitch, and Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville) singled to load the bases. Bobo then walked, bringing home Geller. Jay Graham (Dartmouth) hit into a double play for the inning’s first two outs, but Sweeting was still able to score. Although the Grays had managed to cut the River Dogs’ lead in half, another River Dogs run in the bottom of the seventh sealed their fate.
Shamas pitched four innings and gave up four runs on five hits. The next four Grays pitchers to enter the game each pitched one inning. Caleb Evans (Liberty) relieved Shamas in the top of the fifth and also gave up four runs on five hits. Sherman Graves (Grambling State) gave up two hits in the top of the sixth, but no runs. Arnie Capute (Williams) gave up a run and a hit in the top of the seventh, and David Kimbrough (Delaware State) had a three-up-three-down eighth.
Tomorrow, the Grays will go to Bethesda to take on the league-leading Bethesda Big Train. Max Kaplow (George Washington) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.
Grays drop two to Braves
By: Anna Dunlavey
Returning to the Nationals Youth Academy from the three day All-Star break, the DC Grays lost both ends of a doubleheader to the Herndon Braves on Friday night, losing 4-2 and 7-1. The losses put the Grays’ record at 10-22 on the season.
The Braves began piling up runs in the second inning of game one. They scored three runs off of Grays’ starting pitcher Joe Kinee (40). Caleb Evans (Liberty) replaced Kinee on the mound in the next inning, and gave up one run. Andre Wilson (Grambling State) pitched a scoreless the fifth inning, and Arnie Capute (Williams) pitched a scoreless sixth.
The Grays saved their rally attempt for the final inning of the game, the top of the seventh, when they were down 4-0. Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) doubled, and Eric Urry (BYU) walked. They both advanced to third on a single from Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana), and Sweeting scored on a sacrifice fly from Jay Graham. Desmond Stegall (Savannah State) then drove in Urry with a fielders choice. However, both the rally and the game ended there.
The Grays took the lead in the second game of the double header. In the bottom of the first inning, Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Hunstville) doubled, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Drew Reid (Harvard). Bobo scored Sanders on a single up the middle. The Braves responded with a run of their own in the next half inningoff of starting pitcher Colin Kelly (Catholic), and continued scoring in almost every inning after, foiling Kelly and Sherman Graves (Grambling State).
On Saturday, the Grays will travel to James Madison High School to face the Vienna River Dogs for the final time this season. Tyler Shamas (Mitchell) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.
Grays salute all-stars Tre Sweeting and Webb Bobo; Joe Tietjen in home run derby
By Anna Dunlavey
Last night was the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League’s All-Star game, and three players represented the DC Grays. Webb Bobo and Trae Sweeting were named to the South All Star Team, and Joe Tietjen participated in the Home Run Derby before the game.
First baseman Bobo and centerfielder Sweeting are rising sophomores, Bobo at Southeast Louisiana University and Sweeting at Georgia State University. This is the first summer in the Ripken League, and the first All Star Game at the collegiate level for both of them.
“Coming into the summer ball season, it was one of my goals to make the All-Star Team, and being able to make that goal feels great,” said Bobo.
“It’s an honor to be nominated,” said Sweeting. “I feel like everybody plays for that.”
Bobo, a native of Pratville, Alabama, jokes that his all-star sounding name has been an incentive since he was young. Since little kid baseball, I’m always known as Bobo, never Webb,” he said. “The name is really fun, I always get ‘That’s a great baseball name!’ I have to live up to it.”Although he does not necessarily have a favorite player, his favorite major league team is the Tampa Bay Rays.
Sweeting, won the 60-Yard Dash contest before the Home Run Derby—he can run the distance in under six seconds. “I just woke up and had speed and I just worked on it,” Sweeting said. He leads the league in stolen bases. Sweeting is from Nassau, Bahamas, but he is a supporter of The Los Angeles Angels. He looks up to Angels outfielder (and Tuesday night’s Major League All Star Game MVP) Mike Trout as a role model.
Tietjen, a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Asheville from Waxhaw, NC, hit two home runs in the Grays’ Monday night win over Youse’s Orioles. Those two put him at four home runs on the season and tied him for first in the league in home runs. Conveniently, Monday night was when the Home Run Derby lineup was announced, and Tietjen made sure he warranted a place on the list. He did not place in the derby but had a decent outing.
For all of these players, the best part of baseball is ending with a win. “Every day you come out here it can go either way,” Sweeting said. “You just have to give it your all and play your hardest because anyone can win.”
Bobo agreed.“Being able to leave the park and knowing you did everything you could to help the team win, that’s the best part,” he said.
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